When driving North on Interstate-35 into Oklahoma City, visitors could be caught off guard. As they travel up the highway and spot the sprawling Oklahoma River and state of the art boathouse facilities that line it, they will have to remind themselves they are in the middle of the country and not on the West Coast.
Since the first boathouse was built in 2006, the Boathouse District has grown in popularity with residents of Oklahoma and tourists. But with the additions of the $45.2 million whitewater rafting and kayaking center, the Boathouse District has made Oklahoma City one of the premier landing spots for national competitions, local races and just plain fun on the water.
The top rowing crews from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Louisiana and Kansas converge on Oklahoma City for two days in May to compete in the annual USRowing Youth Championships.
The annual Stars and Stripes River Festival combines the best of two worlds. The RIVERSPORTS Challenge has athletes not only taking on a 500-meter kayak race but a 5k run. The festival also includes corporate rowing and Dragon Boat League Racing at night under the lights. For spectators not competing, a free Family Festival with music and fireworks takes place.
The Boathouse district isn’t just for world class competitors. With a variety of different passes offered at the Boathouse, visitors can take in the whitewater rafting, kayaking, tubing, rowing, sky trails and zip lines. Call (405) 552-4040 or go to boathousedistrict.org to get more information on passes, gear and events throughout the year.